EQT Growth and Blackstone Growth invest $450 million in Epidemic Sound. Based in Stockholm, Epidemic Sound is a platform for restriction-free music.
Epidemic Sound (“the Company”), the market leading platform for restriction-free music, announces an expanded partnership to support its next phase of development. The aggregated new investment from EQT Growth, made through EQT AB’s balance sheet, and funds managed by Blackstone Growth (“BXG”), totals USD 450 million and values Epidemic Sound at approximately USD 1.4 billion.
EQT Mid Market Europe acquired 40 percent in Epidemic Sound in 2017 and is now partially exiting its stake but will remain invested as a testimony to its belief for continued value creation and strong growth. With the new commitment from its Growth strategy, EQT continues to be the largest shareholder in Epidemic Sound.
Online content production is growing exponentially around the globe and is largely driven by the surge in user-generated content on social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. By 2022, online videos are expected to make up more than 82 percent of all consumer internet traffic, which is more than 15 times higher than in 20171 – and these videos will require music. One of the biggest challenges for content creators today is to secure global and platform agnostic music rights, as traditional licensing processes can be complex and require separate agreements in each country of use.
Founded in Stockholm, Sweden, Epidemic Sound serves the global “online creator economy” through its subscription service that gives access to a unique library of 32,000 high-quality tracks. The Company collaborates with music creators to produce music that soundtracks everything from online videos to TV and film productions. Since its establishment in 2009, Epidemic Sound has become a pioneer within restriction-free music as it provides full-spectrum rights on all platforms, in any country, for unlimited time, and with no reporting needs. Today, Epidemic Sound’s music is soundtracking the internet, featuring in 1.5 billion daily YouTube views and more than 10 million daily streams across music streaming platforms.
The expanded partnership with EQT Growth and BXG will continue to build on Epidemic Sound’s current growth trajectory and will support international expansion in both existing and new markets. Additionally, both parties will support the Company with accelerated customer acquisition and investments in the core user experience.
Victor Englesson, Partner and Investment Advisor at EQT Partners, commented, “Epidemic Sound taps into numerous thematic macro trends, such as the democratization of how user-generated content is produced and consumed digitally, largely driven by the increased prevalence of video communication in our society and the growing online creator economy. Epidemic Sound will continue to cement its market leading position with a unique value proposition to storytellers and EQT is proud to have supported CEO Oscar Höglund and his team over the past three years. As the company now enters its next phase of growth, EQT is happy to renew its commitment to Epidemic Sound and join forces with BXG to continue empowering storytellers and content creators around the world with high-quality, restriction-free music.”
Oscar Höglund, Co-founder and CEO of Epidemic Sound, commented, “We’re in the privileged position where our music is the soundtrack to our generation’s greatest achievement. We know what the internet sounds like and through data, we can see the trends emerging among content creators as they use our tracks to bring their stories to life. We’re thrilled to partner with EQT Growth and BXG to continue scaling how we use this data to grow our global network of creators and empower them all to thrive through new products, new music and new insights.”
The transaction closed on 10 March 2021.
SEB Corporate Finance (financial) and Goldman Sachs (financial) and White & Case (legal) acted as sell-side advisors. EQT Growth was advised by PwC (financial & tax) and DLA Piper (legal).
EQT is a purpose-driven global investment organization with close to three decades of consistent investment performance across multiple geographies, sectors, and strategies. EQT has raised more than EUR 84 billion since inception and has as of 31 December 2020 more than EUR 52 billion in assets under management across 17 active funds within two business segments – Private Capital and Real Assets.
With its roots in the Wallenberg family’s entrepreneurial mindset and philosophy of long-term ownership, EQT is guided by a set of strong values and a distinct corporate culture. EQT manages and advises funds and vehicles that invest across the world with the mission to future-proof companies, generate attractive returns and make a positive impact with everything EQT does.
The EQT AB Group comprises EQT AB (publ) and its direct and indirect subsidiaries, which include general partners and fund managers of EQT funds as well as entities advising EQT funds. EQT has offices in 17 countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America with more than 700 employees.
More info: www.eqtgroup.com
About Epidemic Sound
Epidemic Sound, the market leading platform for restriction-free music, is headquartered in Stockholm, heard around the globe and on a mission to soundtrack the world.
The company has democratized access to music for storytellers. Its innovative digital rights model paves the way for creators – everyone from YouTubers to small businesses to the world’s largest brands – to use ‘restriction-free music’ to take their content to the next level, whilst simultaneously supporting the musicians it works with both financially and creatively.
The company was co-founded in 2009 and has offices in six major cities across the globe: Stockholm, New York, Los Angeles, Seoul, Hamburg and Amsterdam. Epidemic is backed by Creandum, EQT Mid Market and Atwater Capital and its Chairperson is Vania Schlogel, Managing Partner & Founder at Atwater Capital.